From Data to Personalization: How a Customer Data Platform Empowers Brands and Buyers


June 30, 2023: Earlier today, Wunderman Thompson Commerce & Technology's (WTC&T) parent company, WPP publicly announced a Global Strategic Partnership with Contentful, the leading Composable Content Management System. While WTC&T has been a long-standing partner of Contentful, this strategic partnership is the first of its kind and allows our two companies to work closer than ever before. 

The Power of Personalization

Personalization opens up a powerful world of possibility. It is a specific opportunity to ensure singular brand experiences throughout a consumer’s engagement with the digital commerce landscape. Leveraging first-party data to inform the next level of individualized programmatic marketing is a vital opportunity to understand and connect with customers truly. 

Effective utilization of data is crucial in delivering authentic customer interactions across multiple channels. To engage customers meaningfully, reaching the right person at the right time with tailored content that aligns with their preferences and decision-making processes is essential. This necessitates a deep understanding of the consumer, encompassing their personal information, preferences, and behavioral patterns. To create a continuous and elevated brand experience, it is vital to prioritize trust, awareness, and comprehension, ensuring that the user's first-party data is reflected back to them.

What is the best way to approach hyper-custom omnichannel experiences at scale? Multiple tools are needed for an optimal personalization effort: Customer Data Platform + Content Management System + Personalization Platform. 

Customers are crucial. Data is pivotal. And the platform? Vital. Deciding on the best model is a significant decision. This platform is a trusted exchange, a conduit of content and reactions to that content; customers shaping their own experience. A well-calibrated, high-grade Customer Data Platform empowers both brands and buyers.

While a CDP will aggregate large amounts of customer data, collecting and centralizing is only the first step. Companies hone tactics with real-time segmentation, loyal customer identification, returning user optimization, and successful anticipation of consumer wants and needs. Audience-aware aggregation also identifies common demographics, attributes, and behaviors. As the engine that powers personalization, the functional and effective power that a CDP charges into an organization's optimization program should not be underestimated. 

Personalization is the powerful new normal. And requires a shift in mindset. From a product-centric, serial content, and semi-automated decisioning perspective, we are now consumer-focused with modular content and burgeoning AI opportunities.

Elevating Omnichannel Experiences

How best to foster meaningful 1:1 relationships with your customers? A CDP opens the door for discovery and communication. Bringing together “preferences, demographics, and behaviors,” a vibrant customer view is revealed. Data informs a contextual environment. This transforms the way a potential purchaser is introduced to a transactional experience. Align insights across touchpoints to define intuitive and individualized paths to purchase.  

A CDP alone is not sufficient to generate opportunities for personalization and optimization. To achieve this, it is essential to leverage the first-party data collected by the CDP and integrate it into a personalization platform, which can then be utilized within the Content Management System. For example, by using the resolved identity of a user, a brand gains the ability to activate a tailored and curated experience or the ability to provide timely calls to action specific to that individual. This approach is likely to enhance customer satisfaction and foster stronger brand affinity. In cases where the user’s identity is unknown and there is no specific profile available, the CDP and personalization platform can work in tandem to deliver guided content, aiming to move the unidentified user into a higher-value segment and ultimately convert them to a known user. By integrating these three tools effectively, the brand can create a best-in-class experience that is composed, intelligent, and (data) clean. This integration allows for instant activation of experiences and ensures scalability for every interaction. 

It’s all about maximum and precise performance for increased results. What might have seemed unimaginable in the realm of personalization just a few years ago is now an ever-evolving and elevating baseline. The imperative to design and produce progressively connected omnichannel experiences for a digital-first market requires both a robust strategy and a powerful platform.

How Can WTC&T Help?

The goal is to drive performance, reach economies of scale, and leverage data to optimize messaging. Support the strategy with the best tools. 

Tactically, increase relevance and speed to improve conversion and provide the optimal customer experience. Contentful can help you launch faster and more consistently. Seamlessly integrate and manage a large volume of content for personalization at scale. New and now: leveraging Segment’s capabilities to identify a visitor across website, email, and cloud apps, through collected first-party data for an elevated experience of Contentful - the Golden Profile is here. Additionally, Ninetailed's API translates customer and content data into intelligent personalization solutions. Audience and computed trait building inform intelligent experiences.

Ultimately, content is communication: brands speaking directly to us, honing our attention to a message, a theme, a product, a value, or an action. And we respond: click, watch, like, forward, buy. This is how buyers get to know brands. A creative effort transitions into an exchange of data, adding momentum, and furthering the consumer relationship. 

Making an impact in these couple of seconds between thousands of other ads is most important. Standing out and resonating with consumers is vital. How important is the platform that can organize and analyze first-party data and ultimately develop customer intelligence at the individual level? It is vitally powerful. Our parent company, WPP is honored to be the inaugural Global Strategic Partner of Contentful’s to align and promote a world of possibility. To learn more about WPP + Contentful, click here.

Wunderman Thompson Commerce & Technology leveraged Contentful to power the new Hydrow experience across their integrated training application, commerce site, and blog. Click here to learn more about that experience.  Beyond web development, WTC&T has also published our “Brand Guardian” platform into the Contentful marketplace, an AI-driven platform to ensure your content and assets are consistent, compliant and inclusive. 

To understand the technology mentioned above to develop tailored content leveraging your brand’s owned first-party data, click here to read more about the combination of Contentful + Segment + Ninetailed.